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Yanks Reach Playoffs…Now What?

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

the party animals.

With last night’s win in Toronto, the Yankees’ magic number is now 0.

Girardi’s deicision as manager now depend on whether he wants to try and catch Tampa Bay for the division title and possible home-field advantage, or rest his starters and pitching staff.  My best guess is he tries to come up with a plan to somehow do both, but I think the smart choice would be to bank on giving his starters days off, and be at full strength for the Division Series.

My friend Ant Scarcello and I discussed this after last night’s game, and weighed the pros and cons of each path as the regular seasons draws to a close.

  • CC in a relief appearance (most likely Friday), try and save some bullets for the postseason.
  • Plenty of Golson, Thames, or Kearns in right so Swisher can rest that knee that has hobbled him for the past few weeks.
  • Pena, Nune, and Cervelli in the same lineup.. yikes!
  • AJ gettings one last start to prove he’s worthy of at least an ALCS appearance.  He won’t start with the 3 man rotation for the Division Series.
  • With Thursday an off day, tonight’s game should be 9 reserves.  Javy is already in for Andy, so why stop there?
  • a rest-up rotation and lineup for the series at Boston, which will lack the intensity (and hopefully game-time length) of a usual series against your rivals.

Obviously the Yankees would want to win the division, but you have to look at the big picture, afterall, does home field advantage really matter if you get knocked out in the first round because your stars didn’t get the proper rest?

Here’s the manager’s plan of action, according to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, in his tweet last night @BloggingBomber s: girardi on resting guys: “I still want our division and I want home-field advantage, but I can see there are some tired bodies out here.”

Myerburg’s Take on the Yankees Off-Season

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

C-.

In their effort to “cut payroll” they bring in Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Javier Vazquez, Randy Winn, and Chan-Ho Park, and get rid of Hideki Matsui, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Melky Cabrera, and Ian Kennedy.  I was fine with them not bringing back Damon and Matsui.  Damon could have still been productive, that’s for sure, but they wanted to get younger and didn’t want to pay him $13 million.  I understand that.  I just don’t see how bringing in Johnson, Vazquez, and Winn are supposed to be an upgrade at all.  I would have rather seen Melky and Brett Gardner patrolling left and center and letting them see what they can do over a full season, they play very good defense and their offense would be more than covered by their All-Stars, Jeter, Teixeira, A-Rod, Posada, and Robbie Cano.  Melky showed last year what he’s capable of, late game clutch hits, great defense, and a strong outfield arm.  Gardner covers centerfield as well as just about anyone in the game.  Some may see Granderson as an upgrade, but I see him as having the same type of production that Melky has.  They basically traded Melky away because they had an older, more proven version of him.

When they brought Randy Winn in as a left field choice I basically lost faith in Cashman and the Yankee regime.  How is Randy Winn a viable option for a Yankee team that is looking to defend a World Championship?  He is 35 years old and coming off a terrible season with the Giants in the NL West with inferior pitching.  How is bringing in Javier Vazquez supposed to be an upgrade?  His last game as a Yankee he self imploded in the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox, his last pitch being the Grand Slam to Johnny Damon to ice the game.  One quick look at his Baseball-Reference page will tell you he has a career 4.52 ERA in the American League, even in the inferior National League his ERA is a career 4.02 ERA.  While his WHIP is a respectable 1.2 in both leagues, his high ERA shows he seems to struggle when those guys get on base.  Now he’s pitching in a hitter’s park where fly balls seem to make their way to River Ave.  You may look at his stats from last year and think it’s an upgrade over Hughes or Joba in the starting role, however he had a career year, and the last time the Yankees went after a pitcher with a high career ERA having an abnormally good year was a guy by the name of Carl Pavano and we all know how that one went.  If the Yankees had just let Damon and Matsui walked and brought back the youngsters they traded away: Jackson, Coke, Melky, Kennedy and let them play I would have given them an A grade, why fix something that’s broken, right?  Kennedy showed signs of greatness in 2007 and then floundered in 2008 because he was thrust into a role he wasn’t ready to fulfill.  Is that enough to give up on him?  I would have liked to have seen Kennedy, Hughes, and Joba compete for the two starting rotation spots in spring training and the loser go to the bullpen.  Phil Coke was not a main part of the team last year but he was a very capable left out of the bullpen, a lot more capable than the lefty they got from the Braves in the Vazquez deal Boone Logan who has a career 5.78 ERA and a 1.692 WHIP.  I just don’t understand the moves they made this year; it looks to me like they made deals just to satisfy the fans by making a move.  If they had just stuck with the plethora of young talent they had and let them show their talents either on the big club this year or with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

I will look towards the 2010 with hopes of another title, but it seems like a far away dream with a team with Randy Winn, Nick Johnson, and Javier Vazquez on it.  When they finish 3rd behind the young phenom pitching talent of the Rays let by David Price, Matt Garza, and James Shields, and the Red Sox with their plethora of pitching and improved defense you can just look back at February 24, 2010 and say I was right.

Categories: Fan Reactions, Offseason

Fans Grade Yankees’ Offseason

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

There are mixed emotions in Yankeeland, as blogs are filled with fans either extremely confident looking forward to 2010, lashing out and revoking their season ticket plans, or somewhere in between.   Here are some reader’s thoughts on how Cashman fared this Hot Stove season.

Lou Ragozzino: A.  They got another good starter to round out the rotation and the additions of Johnson, he will get on base to score runs and Granderson helps with speed and defense.

Rich Einhorn: B+. They addressed their pitching need and upgraded CF but they didn’t get the corner OF they needed.

Dan Salerno: C.  It was average bc it was a downgrade from last year with not so many big name pickups, and there were some departures.

Dan Myron: B.  Matsui and Damon were huge parts of the team but were indeed getting old…as Ken Rosenthal said Damon and the Yankees will both hurt because of this…However getting Granderson is going in the right direction and Nick Johnson is going to see a lot of fastballs hitting second and will get on base 40% of the time if he doesn’t get hurt…I think Vaz at the four will be good, he’s a horse and is more mature now…I also like leaving LF open for a run at Crawford next year…However the Yanks will need repeat great years from Jeter, ARod, Mo, and Posada to stay healthy…Asking a lot but I like their chances.

Bill Pettigrew, Sr.: A+. WS Champs again… pitching pitching pitching… Picked up a proven starter… and health, with a somewhat aging team, health is another top issue, and they got younger by bringing in Granderson, but Nick Johnson’s health history is a big question mark.

Rob Manzie: B.  They added two major needs in a centerfielder and a fourth starter but they lost both Matsui and Damon.  Nick Johnson was a good addition but isn’t a customary DH and LF is in shambles.

Jack Nugent: B-. The Yankees offseason was a fairly fruitful one. I was disappointed by the loss of Matsui, but the team is going for a more youthful group this year. I hate that Austin Jackson was involved in the Granderson trade, but Granderson is fast, and will presumably provide the speed the Yankees have lacked for years. We’ll have to see. Compared to their moves last season, I’ll give them a B- at best, simply because getting Granderson makes it a better than average winter.

And finally, a short summary of what The Ever-Pessimistic Myerburg had to say about the matter (his post coming later): I just don’t see how bringing in Johnson, Vazquez, and Winn are supposed to be an upgrade at all.

I would give the Yankees a B, because I would have liked to bring back Matsui to protect ARod batting 5th.  I love bringing Javy Vazquez back, he will eat innings at the back end of the rotation, and is easily the best #4 in the game.  Nick Johnson should put up solid numbers if he can stay healthy.  I’ve been a Granderson fan ever since I met him along the LF wall at the Stadium back in 2005 during batting practice.  Glad we didn’t overspend on Holliday or Bay, would like to see what Brett Gardner can do.  Randy Winn is a 4th outfielder not worth getting worked up about.  Sad to see CMW go, hope he does well with the Nationals, can’t say the same about Bruney, glad he’s gone.  I’d rather have Kenny Powers to fill his spot in the bullpen.  Now if only they’d make a few minor changes to Yankee Stadium, but I’ll leave that for another post, on another day…

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